Practice Report: Secondary Steps Up

This Purple Wildcats Insider update breaks down some developments from Tuesday spring practice.

C.J. Bryant and Daniel Jones fared well in the next-to-last Northwestern spring practice of 2013. Spring ball is traditionally difficult for defensive backs, but the two did especially well in establishing tight man coverage. On consecutive plays, the Wildcats defense had "coverage sacks," with the quarterback unable to release the ball. With some uncertainty as to the second starting position, the two left room for optimism on Tuesday.

Ibraheim Campbell continued to act as the primary defensive playmaker. He stepped up in coverage and deflected one pass – easily one of the sharpest plays in practice. He will likely be joined by Traveon Henry, which forms an especially strong safety duo.

Kain Colter had one of his best practices throwing the ball. After some iffy performances in March–which caused some concern–Colter managed to settle down and threw strikes across the middle. The Tuesday session challenged Colter, Trevor Siemian and Zack Oliver to make some more difficult throws. For the most part, they succeeded.

Venric Mark showed his characteristic burst in the option attack. The rising senior was the highlight out of the backfield on Tuesday. He looks better than ever, and also ran well between the tackles.

— The offensive line suffered from multiple miscommunications. The energetic defensive line reached the quarterback on several occasions. One time, Dean Lowry ran untouched and "tagged" Trevor Siemian for the sack. Look to see them improve on those mistakes Saturday.

Cameron Dickerson was probably the most targeted receiver in practice, and looked especially good. All wideouts played well on Tuesday. Mark caught some passes out of the backfield, and Tony Jones made an impressive endzone snag.

Ifeadi Odenigbo looks like the force everyone expected him to be. Odenigbo, who saw some reps at defensive end, demonstrated his athleticism and consistently pressured the quarterback. He was one of the "risers" from Tuesday's session.

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